A BISHOP’S Waltham pre-school has been praised by inspectors after it was deemed to require improvement.

Lilypad in the Park is progressing according to Ofsted after it was rated as ‘good’ in a recent inspection, just two years after it was deemed to require improvement.

In May 2019 the education watchdog raised safeguarding and welfare concerns with the provision and ordered it to take action. An interim visit in September 2020 found that action had been taken, with “checks carried out to ensure all committee members are suitable to fulfil their roles and keep children safe”.

In May this year inspectors returned and have praised the pre-school based at The Pavilion in Hoe Road Recreation Ground.

The report published on June 22 reads: “Children enjoy their time at this small and friendly setting. A well-developed keyperson system enables staff to build close bonds with children. Managers and staff have a strong focus on ensuring that children are happy and safe. They are sensitive to the time that children have had away from the setting due to the Covid-19 pandemic and changes in the usual environment.

“Staff know the children well, and value the uniqueness of each of them. This contributes to children’s positive self-esteem.”

Inspectors noted that children are keen to learn and their “interests are known and considered when planning the activities”.

Safeguarding at the pre-school is said to be effective. The report added: “Managers keep their knowledge of safeguarding legislation and guidance up to date and share information regularly with staff. This contributes to staff’s secure knowledge of how to identify children at risk of harm and what to do if they are concerned about a child’s welfare.”

The pre-school has been given two aspects to improve including enhancing the quality of teaching and interactions with children through supervision, and ensure staff are organised in supporting youngsters from one part of the day to the next.

The pre-school’s chairman, Lorraine Cutler, said: “Lilypad In The Park Staff were understandably extremely disappointed with the rating two years ago, particularly as the areas for improvement were predominatly around the set up and paperwork for the committee which runs our charity pre school, and not around the education or level of care which our children receive from staff.

“This new rating now gives validation to the staff for their continuous support and commitment during what has been an especially trying 18 months, supporting our key worker families through Covid and re integrating those children who did not attend through the lockdown periods.”